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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And adhered to the Rutherglen testimony


the Lord had given to that meeting,

in that defensive resistance. This was the rise and occasion of that appearance at Bothwel-bridge, which the Lord did in his holy sovereignty confound, for former defections by the means of division, which broke that little army among themselves, before they were broken by the enemy. They continued together in amiable and amicable peace for the space of eight or nine days, while they endeavoured to put out and keep out every wicked thing from amongst them, and adhered to the Rutherglen testimony, and that short declaration at Glasgow confirming it; representing their 'present purposes and endeavours, where, only in vindication and defence of the reformed religion--as they stood obliged thereto by the national and solemn league and covenant, and the solemn acknowledgment of sins and engagement to duties; declaring against popery, prelacy, erastianism, and all things depending thereupon.' Intending hereby to comprehend the defection of the indulgence, to witness against which all unanimously agreed: until the army increasing, the defenders and daubers of that defection, some ministers and others, came in who broke all, and upon whom the blood of that appearance may be charged. The occasion of the breach was, first, when in the sense of the obligation of that command, when the host goeth forth against thine enemies, keep thee from every wicked thing, an overture was offered to set times apart for humiliation for the public sins of the land, according to the practice of the godly
in all ages, before engaging their enemies, and the laudable precedents of our ancestors; that so the causes of God's wrath against the nation might be enquired into and confessed, and the Lord's blessing, counsel, and conduct to and upon present endeavours, might be implored. And accordingly the complying with abjured erastianism, by the acceptance of the ensnared indulgence, offered by and received from the usurping rulers, was condescended upon among the rest of the grounds of fasting and humiliation, so seasonably and necessarily called for at that time. The sticklers for the indulgence refused the overture, upon politic considerations, for fear of offending the indulged ministers and gentlemen, and provoking them to withdraw their assistance. This was the great cause of the division, that produced such unhappy and destructive effects. And next, whereas the cause was stated before according to the covenants, in the Rutherglen-testimony and Glasgow-declaration, wherein the king's interest was waved; these dividers drew up another large paper (called the Hamilton-declaration) wherein they assert the king's interest, according to the third article of the solemn league and covenant. Against which the best affected contended, and protested they could not in conscience put in his interest in the state of the quarrel, being now in stated opposition to Christ's interests, and inconsistent with the meaning of the covenant, and the practices of the covenanters, and their own testimonies; while now he could not be declared for as being in the defence of religion and liberty, when he had so palpably overturned and ruined the work of reformation, and oppressed such as adhered thereunto, and had burnt the covenant, &c. Whereby he had loosed the people from all obligation to him from it. Yet that contrary faction prevailed, so far as to get it published in the name of all: whereby the cause was perverted and betrayed, and the former testimonies rendered irrite, and the interest of the public enemy


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